Conservative field

From Glossary of Meteorology

conservative field

A field for which the work done in moving an isolated particle of unit mass around a closed path is zero:
where F is the force acting on the particle and dr is an infinitesimal vector displacement along the path.

For such a field the work done in moving a particle between any two points is independent of the path so that a potential Φ exists:
where is the del operator.
See irrotational.